Over my career as an educator and mentor, I’ve had the opportunity to refine my beliefs and develop a teaching philosophy that is reflective of my experiences. I believe the purpose of education is to allow all people, regardless of identity and/or circumstance to have access to knowledge. There are four components that drive my teaching philosophy: diverse, authentic, experiential, and inspirational.
Diverse – My diverse background and experiences have provided me with opportunities to reach students in a variety of ways. Working with local, Indigenous, and international students encourages me to welcome their perspectives, and also provide diverse and equitable learning experiences. I am inclusive in my teaching by encouraging students from all backgrounds, abilities, and experiences to enhance my courses with their expertise. I believe that intersectionality is an asset to bring all voices and ideas forward in all types of learning settings. I also believe that students learn best when they can engage with learning through a variety of pedagogical methods. I lecture, facilitate discussions, and allow my students to lecture and facilitate discussions, while also providing a large variety of hands-on experiences through multiple in-class activities.
Authentic – I strive to create authentic learning opportunities. I communicate clearly, logically, and effectively through these practices, especially as I often work with international students. I believe that students learn best when they can work through real-life scenarios. I provide practical hard and soft skills and content that can be used in their own practice not only during their education but also in their professional careers. By providing authentic learning for my students, they can develop transferable skills, including communication, problem solving, critical thinking, and collaboration.
Inspirational – When I teach, it is my chance to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for leadership and learning. I develop a strong rapport with my students through active listening, humour, support, and actions that improve the learning environment. I am very passionate about education and want my students to become passionate as well. I encourage them to become designers of their own education. By giving students an opportunity to share their pre-existing knowledge and beliefs, it improves their practice on the road to becoming professionals in their field. All learners are welcomed into my learning environment. I am extremely supportive of my students, including those requiring academic and/or social support.
Experiential – I believe that students learn best when they are provided hands-on experiences. Hands-on experiences can include small or large group discussions, creating or producing something through prototyping, and teaching other students a variety of skills or ideas. Through formal and informal feedback, I know that my students highly value the hands-on experiences. My lessons are interactive. I am a hands-on instructor who is available to my students, providing consistent feedback, both oral and written, to push my students to the next level.
I acknowledge that I am consistently learning the best practices of an effective educator. Ongoing assessment of my teaching style refines my practice. As I interact with students and colleagues, I continue to adapt and refine my practice to become a more effective educator, which is grounded in my passion for teaching and learning.